Funniest Songs From Serious Artists

A photograph of Phoebe Bridgers playing the guitar is photoshopped onto a bright blue background with white text that reads "Funniest Songs From Serious Aritsts"
Graphics by Grace Kinney

Happy April Fools’ Day! No pranks this year (at least not on the blog), but the holiday inspired our staff writers to think back on some of the most humor-filled moments that have come out of some not typically humorous artists. From David Bowie deep cuts to a Phoebe Bridgers cover, here are what we’re calling our “Funniest Songs From Serious Artists.” 

(And yes, unfortunately/fortunately, we didn’t count Weird Al as a serious artist).



Personally, I never thought I would hear Phoebe Bridgers sing about Logan Paul or Grand Theft Auto V, but in 2021, she did just that. The acclaimed indie musician covered Bo Burnham’s morbidly funny song “That Funny Feeling” on her reunion tour, and then, in October, she released a recording of the track on Bandcamp. Touching on themes of dystopia and despair, the song humorously navigates the deep irony of our apocalyptic digital age. Although some of the lyrics seem a bit out of the ordinary for Bridgers, the overall message of the song aligns well with her overwhelmingly melancholy discography.  

- Claire Dunham, Music Coordinator



Johnny Cash's "One Piece at a Time" is one of the ultimate April Fools' Day anthems. Released in 1976, the song follows a car factory worker who decides to build his dream car by stealing parts from the assembly line. The result? A hilariously mismatched creation, but a working car, nonetheless.

With its tongue-in-cheek lyrics and catchy rhythm, "One Piece at a Time" is sure to be a track you’ll come back to when you need a smile. Its absurd premise and deadpan delivery from Cash makes the song feel like it comes out of an episode of The Office. So, whether you're putting together an April Fools' Day playlist of shenanigans or are simply in need of a chuckle, crank up the volume and enjoy this ridiculous tale spun by the "Man in Black."

- Mason Standish, Staff Writer



Aside from being incredibly unique and stylish in both his fashion taste and musical talent, David Bowie had a great sense of humor. The passionate artist mostly shared his humorous self through TV appearances, but he also wasn’t afraid to let it transfer into his music. His 1973 single “The Laughing Gnome” is single-handedly one of the most unexpected singles I’ve ever heard from the singer, but not entirely out of character. The song features Bowie delivering an anecdote of him meeting a “tiny old man” whom he refers to as a “laughing gnome,” whose voice is comically high-pitched. Throughout the song, we can hear both the gnome and Bowie laughing, and having a great time. Since the song is filled with wit and great vibes, I’m not surprised it joined Bowie’s long list of fun and experimental hits. 

- Isabella Kohn, Staff Writer



Courtney Barnett utilizes her iconic stream-of-consciousness storytelling on "Aqua Profunda." She details her attempts at swimming in an aquatics center as she tries to impress another swimmer at the pool. As someone who prefers running to swimming, Barnett begins to sink and almost drowns. At the end of the song — which is only two verses long and comes in at just under two minutes — Barnett comes above the water for air and finds that the other person at the pool has vanished. Compared to the rest of her discography, which deals with much heavier themes, "Aqua Profunda" is much more lighthearted and a little bit silly, but it still sticks to Barnett’s storytelling style. 

- Sidnie Paisley Thomas, Staff Writer



Other than sounding akin to the background music of an allergy medicine commercial, “Stay Stay Stay” is one of the rather unserious songs in Taylor Swift’s discography. The track stands out from the rest of her album Red in its strange composition. The song’s main premise is loving your partner so much that you find joy even in fighting, but the lyrics are obscured by an upbeat, folksy guitar and ukelele melody. With a few vocalizations from Swift throughout the song — including yelling and laughter — “Stay Stay Stay” is a bit of an odd duck from her expansive song catalog. The song gets mixed reviews from her fanbase, but I think it is a fun and cute song that shows off some great emotional storytelling.

- Ren Gibson, Staff Writer

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